Adventure Card Game Developments, and a Goblin Scalawag

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

We've got three new people to introduce to you today. Two are real, and one is a vicious killer. Can you tell which is which?

Salutations.

My name is Brian Campbell, and I'm writing to you as the new Lead Editor for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. I am ancient. "I have crossed oceans of time..."

Okay, so maybe I'm not so ancient, but I've been working in the game industry as a writer and editor for the last twenty years. One of my first jobs was editing trading card games for a company down in Renton, Washington, one that shall remain nameless here, although it is known for being magical from time to time. It has a lot of magic, and some of its cards are magic cards, but I won't tell you which company it is.

I first started playing Pathfinder around the same time I was working in a different department of that company, one that made roleplaying games with dragons and dungeons. Since then, I indulged in my obsession with massively multiplayer online games by writing for a few of them, but I kept playing Pathfinder. I now spend my time sequestered in an arcane realm scrutinizing the wording on cards, which is precisely where I should be. In my spare time, I play different types of games, read books on my Kindle, and contemplate the mysteries of the universe while drinking various microbrews. And of course, you might see me playing cards.

∗ ∗ ∗

Hello, Pathfinders!

I'm Tanis O'Connor, the new adventure card game designer here at Paizo HQ. I work with Paizo's incredible staff of designers, developers, and editors, and also with the PACG design team at Lone Shark Games. Alongside Brian Campbell, introduced above, and the estimable Vic Wertz, I'm doing my best to make the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game the best game possible. I'm also working on a few other goodies which will be the subject of a near-future blog post.

A little bit about me: prior to signing up with Team Paizo, I was a developer on the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game for Lone Shark Games, and worked on both the Rise of the Runelords set and the Skull & Shackles set. My involvement in the RPG community goes back over a decade, including a stint as a developer and rules editor at Wizards of the Coast, and several years as an author, developer, and organizer for the March of Bissel in the RPGA's Living Greyhawk Organized Play campaign. I'm psyched to be working with the amazing and creative team here at Paizo.

Enough about me; let's talk about you! We have a bunch of good stuff in store for you with the upcoming Skull & Shackles set, beginning with an entirely new playable character for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, to be released as a promotional card set for Free RPG Day on Saturday, June 21. Everyone, meet Ranzak:


Character Art by Ben Wootten

Ranzak is a nasty little bugger who likes eating, stabbing, and stealing (not necessarily in that order). Like any other character, he comes complete with character, role, and token cards, and he can be used with any Pathfinder ACG set, so feel free to let him pillage his way through Rise of the Runelords while you're waiting for Skull & Shackles to come out! There will be a few different ways you can pick up Ranzak:

  • Go to a store that's participating in Free RPG Day on June 21 and get yourself a free copy while supplies last. Find your local store here.
  • Subscribe to the Adventure Card Game here on paizo.com, and you'll get a free copy of Ranzak (as well as a couple other promo cards) along with your Skull & Shackles Base Set and Character Add-On Deck in August.
  • After Skull & Shackles is released in August, buy Ranzak on paizo.com, while supplies last.
  • Buy Ranzak from us at PaizoCon or Gen Con, while supplies last.

Below you'll find Ranzak's story, in his own words.

∗ ∗ ∗

Ranzak not always pirate. Ranzak not always Ranzak either. One time, Ranzak be Longlung diver named Squidbreath. Other Longlungs eaten by biggest sea monster of all—Swirly Doom. Squidbreath fierce and Squidbreath brave, so Squidbreath flee Swirly Doom and paddle mighty Longlung ship away. Years pass. Squidbreath stab. Squidbreath steal. Squidbreath eat good Squidbreath meal!


Art am made by Ranzak (who is best artist duh, so why me even have to tell you?)

Squidbreath make friends to do battles on goblin ship. Friends eat many pirates, get many loots. Squidbreath see longshanks chiefs all have magic bird that eat cracker and tell true secret. Squidbreath and friends sneak sneak sneak to longshanks cave, wait for longshanks sleep, and steal magic bird. Magic bird squawk, "Ranzak! Ranzak! Ranzak! Ranzak! Ranzak!" Magic bird maybe talk too much.

Squidbreath know magic bird always squawk true, so Squidbreath make name Ranzak. Ranzak now have great magic, and friends jealous. Friends have bad luck on many ends of many knives. Now Ranzak need new friends to help get more plunder!

You need friend?

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Tags: Ben Wootten Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Skull & Shackles
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Shadow Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Ranzak WRITES?! Get rope... and torches. LOTS of torches! Some for Ranzak, but some just for fun.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hehe, so that's what he looks like. Can't wait to get him for my game; if he's anything like in the playtest, he'll be very fun/frustrating to play with :)

Sovereign Court

An entire character for a promo? And a goblin at that? Awesome!

EDIT: And then I saw the date on my calendar...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

That parrot is almost as big as he is. Does it say anything other than Ranzak? What is the magic bird's name? Inquiring minds want to know; we must hear more.


This is pretty exciting. I think... Announcements on April 1st have always concerned me a little, but this one seems pretty legit...

Okay, let's assume that this is legit. This is awesome! I want a Goblin Raider, yes please. I want to see his stats though, before I get too excited. Anyways, does this character feel bad about wearing the Birdcruncher Crown? He seems to like his parrot...

If this is fake, then good one guys. Also, that drawing at the bottom probably took forever.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Erixian wrote:
Okay, let's assume that this is legit. This is awesome! I want a Goblin Raider, yes please. I want to see his stats though, before I get too excited.

Get too excited.


Mike Selinker wrote:
Erixian wrote:
Okay, let's assume that this is legit. This is awesome! I want a Goblin Raider, yes please. I want to see his stats though, before I get too excited.
Get too excited.

Could that be more frustratingly ambiguous? That could mean that we're getting this guy AND spoilers.

Or it could mean that this is a joke.

D:


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Orbis Orboros wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:
Erixian wrote:
Okay, let's assume that this is legit. This is awesome! I want a Goblin Raider, yes please. I want to see his stats though, before I get too excited.
Get too excited.

Could that be more frustratingly ambiguous? That could mean that we're getting this guy AND spoilers.

Or it could mean that this is a joke.

D:

Its real. I know Mike asks people not to talk about the Skull and Shackles playtest, but since he's been announced, I assume its ok to say that Ranzak was playstested with the S&S playtest. So he's legit. Plus Brian and Tanis are real people too, in case anyone was unsure of that.


Alright!

I have no idea what he does but I still look forward to playing him. The promo cards are always entertaining, and usually quite good too, a pleasant bonus.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Plus Brian and Tanis are real people too, in case anyone was unsure of that.

Ranzak is also a real person, in that Ranzak is Tanis.

Sovereign Court

So this is real? OK, back to thinking this is awesome! It's cool enough to get a promo character, and even cooler that I can play a goblin. I was planning on running S&S as the Gunslinger but... Goblin.

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Plus Brian and Tanis are real people too, in case anyone was unsure of that.

Really? Well that changes things, I got the "vicious killer" vibe from Tanis' writing... sneaky sneaky

Sovereign Court

Mike, is this going to be the promo card for the base set? Or is it going to be like when Hook Mountain Massacre (I think that was the one) came with it's own promo, plus a second one that game in a magazine previously?

Pathfinder ACG Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mike Selinker wrote:

Ranzak is also a real person, in that Ranzak is Tanis.

Hey! Spoilers!

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Ranzak is really a promo card for PACG in general, since he's intended to be usable in all sets. But he's themed for Skull & Shackles.

There will be other S&S promo cards, but we're not announcing details yet. Except for this: One of them has my favorite name of any card in the game, which will remain a secret for now. (That means you, playtesters.)


Mike, thank you for the response. I am in the process of getting excited. I am still waiting for those stats. Hehe. This is still fairly exciting that a character is a promo. Now I have to think a little harder on my first character to take sailing.

Also, there will be more promos going out with S&S, huh? That will be pretty great. I missed some of the beginning ones, but I think that I will have all the promos that come out, because I like the interesting effects that they bring to the game. Hoping this character is just as interesting.


Mike Selinker wrote:
There will be other S&S promo cards, but we're not announcing details yet. Except for this: One of them has my favorite name of any card in the game, which will remain a secret for now. (That means you, playtesters.)

Except that you already posted your favorite card name to a different audience at one point ;)


Deekow wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:
There will be other S&S promo cards, but we're not announcing details yet. Except for this: One of them has my favorite name of any card in the game, which will remain a secret for now. (That means you, playtesters.)
Except that you already posted your favorite card name to a different audience at one point ;)

And?..

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Deekow wrote:
Except that you already posted your favorite card name to a different audience at one point ;)

Only the S&S playtesters, to my knowledge.


Mike Selinker wrote:
Deekow wrote:
Except that you already posted your favorite card name to a different audience at one point ;)
Only the S&S playtesters, to my knowledge.

Well, I was somewhat certain that it was also on Facespace somewhere; but, I'm not ready to come to terms with the level of stalking that would be required to find it (I may have thoroughly looked and failed, but I won't admit it), and really... the goblin deserves all the attention, anyway.


Deekow wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:
Deekow wrote:
Except that you already posted your favorite card name to a different audience at one point ;)
Only the S&S playtesters, to my knowledge.
Well, I was somewhat certain that it was also on Facespace somewhere; but, I'm not ready to come to terms with the level of stalking that would be required to find it (I may have thoroughly looked and failed, but I won't admit it), and really... the goblin deserves all the attention, anyway.

I don't really condone stalking, so I am fine with not knowing for now. Also, I don't think that Mike wants us to know right now, anyways, because it really builds up the suspense...

On another topic, should we be expecting more announcements like this in the near future?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Erixian wrote:
I don't really condone stalking...

Ok...

*Gets down from peeking through Erixian's window and shambles off*


Seems like if you get all the promos you'd eventually be able to put together an entire goblin AP. ^_^

Pathfinder ACG Lead Editor

Tanis O'Connor wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:

Ranzak is also a real person, in that Ranzak is Tanis.

Hey! Spoilers!

I can confirm that I am not Ranzak.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

During today's playtest, Gaby redubbed the Tanis/Ranzak combo "Tanzak."


Oh man, any chance of seeing a skills card? Really interested in this character's powers. I like the flavor of a pirate goblin with a spell casting parrot.


will he have a suggested deck list? big fan of suggested deck lists...


The_Napier wrote:
will he have a suggested deck list? big fan of suggested deck lists...

Really? This game really does have all types. I couldn't care less about the suggested deck lists, the customization is important to me.

Not that I mean for that to come off negative, or anything. I just think it's interesting...


Orbis Orboros wrote:
The_Napier wrote:
will he have a suggested deck list? big fan of suggested deck lists...

Really? This game really does have all types. I couldn't care less about the suggested deck lists, the customization is important to me.

Not that I mean for that to come off negative, or anything. I just think it's interesting...

I am not big on suggested decklists anymore, but since this is a new AP, and new players might subscribe and start playing, I think that he should have a suggested deck. I think that one of my friends is testing the waters on this game and if he likes it, will subscribe just before S&S rolls out. I can understand people like that wanting the suggestions.

In my groups, we have used the suggested decklists for new players. The suggested lists are decent and get players familiar with different types of cards. Also, it is important to have some bad cards to start with, so that you have a comparison when you actually get good cards.


saves time in starting the game, provides a good balance of cards, fits the characters, respects the work put into creating them by the game-makers, gets customised rapidly anyway as cards are turned up during scenarios. sure I had more...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I don't think Ranzak will have a suggested deck list in the S&S rulebook, since he isn't guaranteed to be owned by the person playing S&S. Perhaps the Paizo staff can post a suggested deck list for him for both S&S and RotR for those who want to use it. In fact, posting his suggested deck list a couple of weeks before S&S releases, thus giving a glimpse at the name of 15 cards, would be a great teaser.

And for those who just want to choose basic cards, they are always free to do so.


Oh, I totally get why they exist.

I'm just... surprised isn't the word... intrigued that there are veteran players/fans of this game that prefer to use suggested deck lists.

Again, I'm all about the customization. I won't play with borrowed decks in TCG's, it bugs me when RPG video games lack certain customization traits (like looks), and I like that I can convert models in my tabletop miniatures game (Warmachine).

The limitation to basics is plenty for me to get balance and the feel of a starting character.

Liberty's Edge

Nice to 'meet' you both, Brian and Tanis!

Brian, are you the same Brian Campbell responsible for that wonderful Ratkin book in days of old?

http://www.amazon.com/Ratkin-Werewolf-Apocalypse-Brian-Campbell/dp/15650434 21

:)


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Perhaps the Paizo staff can post a suggested deck list for him for both S&S and RotR for those who want to use it

Not sure he'd need RotR, as he's S&S themed, but one would be cool

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
In fact, posting his suggested deck list a couple of weeks before S&S releases, thus giving a glimpse at the name of 15 cards, would be a great teaser.

yes. this is a fun idea. I like this one.

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
And for those who just want to choose basic cards, they are always free to do so.

exactly!


Question from overseas... (which is just the location for a piraty goblin)

If I cancel my subscription to avoid the huge shipping costs for the base game and then resubscribe for the character add-on, will I get the August promo's? That worked for RotRL, so I guess it will work for S&S, but better safe then sorry.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I imagine that it would, but you also don't need to cancel it. If you contact customer service I think they could probably set yours up to only ship the character add-on.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Patito wrote:
Oh man, any chance of seeing a skills card? Really interested in this character's powers. I like the flavor of a pirate goblin with a spell casting parrot.

Well, it says magic parrot, not magic-user parrot. I'm not sure the parrot casts spells - he might just be enchanted. Not sure what it means when it says the little bird "squawks true." Could mean anything!

I definitely want to know more about that parrot...but I'm not at all sure that the parrot will be reflected in Ranzak's skills / powers / card feats, as such. Maybe...who knows? It would be cool to know if one power is the "squawk true" power, or whatever.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ranzak's rules card* says this:

"Ranzak is a scavenger, so when you build new decks, build the other characters first, then use leftover cards with the Basic trait to fill out his Cards List."

*He has a rules card because one of his two roles previews a new feature of Skull & Shackles that needs 'splainin.

Sovereign Court

New feature? YEA


Calthaer wrote:
Patito wrote:
Oh man, any chance of seeing a skills card? Really interested in this character's powers. I like the flavor of a pirate goblin with a spell casting parrot.

Well, it says magic parrot, not magic-user parrot. I'm not sure the parrot casts spells - he might just be enchanted. Not sure what it means when it says the little bird "squawks true." Could mean anything!

I definitely want to know more about that parrot...but I'm not at all sure that the parrot will be reflected in Ranzak's skills / powers / card feats, as such. Maybe...who knows? It would be cool to know if one power is the "squawk true" power, or whatever.

The parrot power could be something like: for all your divine or arcane checks, first roll a d4, on a 1 roll a d6 for the check, on a 2 roll a d8, on a 3 roll a d10 and on a 4 roll a d12. Fun, and frustrating... maybe the parrot helps out a lot, maybe the parrot helps out a little.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The parrot doesn't have a specific game effect, any more than the peg leg or arm hook does.


Tanis?
Is that your real name, and if so were you named after the Dragonlance character?


Vic Wertz wrote:

Ranzak's rules card* says this:

"Ranzak is a scavenger, so when you build new decks, build the other characters first, then use leftover cards with the Basic trait to fill out his Cards List."

*He has a rules card because one of his two roles previews a new feature of Skull & Shackles that needs 'splainin.

Interesting concept. Both parts, actually. I like the fact that you get the last pick of the cards that you need to build your decks. I feel like it is not that big of a deal, though, since most of the time, everyone will be talking about their builds and the cards that they need anyways. I guess it is a little harder if you have a group that is cut-throat, though.

Also, I am curious about the role card that will need some explaining. When you build your character, you do not have a role, so I am assuming that Ranzak being a scavenger is not the only thing on the rules card. I am interested in how the role affects play. I can only assume that it will affect rebuilding characters between Scenarios, or maybe a benefit for taking less desired cards. I am interested.

Also, Vic, are you just going to be teasing us with a little more information everyday? First we get a card picture with a name, and then a little excerpt from the rules card, and then?..

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Vic Wertz wrote:
The parrot doesn't have a specific game effect, any more than the peg leg or arm hook does.

Which does not rule out parrots, peg legs, and arm hooks that do have specific game effects.


Mike Selinker wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
The parrot doesn't have a specific game effect, any more than the peg leg or arm hook does.
Which does not rule out parrots, peg legs, and arm hooks that do have specific game effects.

This is true. Now I am intrigued. I am hoping that Peg Leg is an item that decreases your Dexterity checks, and Hook Arm is a weapon, and obviously Parrot is an ally. All will have specific in game effects. Big spoiler right there...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The hook arm summons a crocodile monster that, if undefeated, causes you to banish the hook arm and a clock from your hand.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Tanis O'Connor wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:

Ranzak is also a real person, in that Ranzak is Tanis.

Hey! Spoilers!

What, you're not a figment of Mike's imagination?

:O

Pathfinder ACG Lead Editor

casiel wrote:

Nice to 'meet' you both, Brian and Tanis!

Brian, are you the same Brian Campbell responsible for that wonderful Ratkin book in days of old?

http://www.amazon.com/Ratkin-Werewolf-Apocalypse-Brian-Campbell/dp/15650434 21

:)

Yep! That's one of mine.

I've written for more White Wolf books than I can remember: dozens and dozens of them. I've also got some writing in the 20th Anniversary Editions of Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Mage: The Ascension. Oh, and when I first moved out to Seattle, I was the editor for Vampire: The Eternal Struggle.

Nice to meet you, too!

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Brian Campbell wrote:
I've written for more White Wolf books than I can remember: dozens and dozens of them. I've also got some writing in the 20th Anniversary Editions of Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Mage: The Ascension. Oh, and when I first moved out to Seattle, I was the editor for Vampire: The Eternal Struggle.

Not to mention one of my esteemed collaborators on the game Betrayal at House on the Hill.

Pathfinder ACG Lead Editor

Mike Selinker wrote:
Brian Campbell wrote:
I've written for more White Wolf books than I can remember: dozens and dozens of them. I've also got some writing in the 20th Anniversary Editions of Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Mage: The Ascension. Oh, and when I first moved out to Seattle, I was the editor for Vampire: The Eternal Struggle.
Not to mention one of my esteemed collaborators on the game Betrayal at House on the Hill.

Thanks!

It's still one of my favorite games for Board Game Night. \m/

Pathfinder ACG Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Morfiedev wrote:

Tanis?

Is that your real name, and if so were you named after the Dragonlance character?

Yes, it is, and no, I'm older than that bearded wonder. I'm also female, so that would have been a really cruel move by my parents.

Nor was I founded in the late Twentieth Dynasty as a parallel religious center to Thebes.

It's a corruption of the Irish Gaelic word for firstborn, since I'm the oldest.

(Why yes, I have been asked this question before.)

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